Recently I spent some time talking with an older woman about her parents and grandparents. Who they were. What they did. What they were like. It is so easy to see people of the past as just names on paper. Dates in a book.
As she talked I found myself amazed at how very real these people had been. Not just real in their existence but real in their personalities. Adjectives flowed describing people who lived and breathed and laughed and cried before cars were in the road and plumbing in the house.
Adjectives like forceful, domineering, caring, tidy, frugal, sharp tongued, opinionated. These people who have been gone for decades suddenly came to life in my imagination and it got me thinking. How do I want to be remembered?
It is no secret that I struggle. A lot. I beat myself up. A lot. My husband calls me a guilt magnet. A lot.
There are so many things that I should do, but I don't. There are so many things that I should be, but I am not.
So, so, SO many shoulds.
I should be more productive. More disciplined. More accomplished. More competent. More "together."
But is that how I want my children and grandchildren to remember me? To be described to the generations that follow?
What about this?
"She was one smart cookie."
"She looked great for her age!"
"Wow! Gubby! What a figure!"
No. No. NO!
I don't want to be remembered to the generations that follow for my accomplishments or impressive abilities, my beauty or my brains.
I pray that one day they will say of me...
"She was kind. She was compassionate. She was gracious. She was loving. She was merciful. She was understanding. And she was fun."